There`s always going to be K-Mart, then JC Penney, then Nordstrom`s.
Above and beyond all that, there`s Chanel, Calvin Klein, and other
Again from the music business, I`ll never forget being 18, and a
hotshot. I was the best keyboard player in my home town, and the best
in the college town where I went for awhile. Everyone knew me, and I
didn`t even think about competition.
One night I walked into a club for a musician`s jam, late night thing,
where whomever was the band let anyone step in to play. There was this
kid, I think 16 at the time (illegal ID), playing the organ. He
proceeded to blow me out of the water.
I left, went home, and proceeded to explore the finer aspects of
embarrassment. The result was to, for the first time in my life, think
seriously about competition.
There`s a whole, wide, and BIG world out there! I realized that I would
likely never be The Best in the world. I was competing not only against
all possible keyboard players, but also in every venue. I wasn`t a
trained concert pianist, nor was I Keith Emerson.
However, I also was WAY lots better than a whole boatload of other
keyboard players. And that`s when I also encountered the fine saying,
"Do you want to be the best of the worst, or the worst of the best?"
I chose to be among the best, even if I was only the worst of them. I
gained a healthy portion of humility, came to understand that "the
best" has a context, and learned that having another really good
keyboard player in town kept me on my toes. :-D
Not once did I think about lowering my rates or price. My focus was on
learning how to play certain things other guys couldn`t play, and use
certain types of synthesizers other guys weren`t so proficient in
using. Plus, I learned how to run my own band, be a lead singer,
develop a show, and understand how audiences work.
Lots of super fantastic keyboard players don`t go anywhere because they
don`t understand what the audience wants to hear. Likewise, most
untalented keyboard players don`t go anywhere beyond the garage. But
they sure are stars on their local block!